Jun 23, 2017
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Global Blue links with EuroPass, WeChat to boost Chinese tourist spend in Europe

Jun 23, 2017

Global Blue has inked a deal to make it easier for Chinese tourists to claim tax refunds on goods they buy in UK and European stores by linking up with major mobile payments specialist EuroPass. And the deal has a major WeChat social media element too.

Chinese shoppers now have more options for claiming back the VAT when they shop in Europe

Anything that makes it easier for Chinese shoppers to spend has to be good news with the consumer group particularly important for fashion and luxury stores in key European cities.

London in particular has seen a Chinese surge of late. According to the Global Blue tax-free spend figures last month, with 21% of the total tax free sales, Chinese shoppers made up the biggest share of tax-free spend in the UK and they also showed the biggest growth in spend since last year.

The company, which handles sales tax refunds, said this week it has acquired a stake in EuroPass, the European WeChat payment specialist. It has signed an exclusive contract to introduce retailers to the firm's mobile payment solution to directly deliver tax refunds to Chinese shoppers.

EuroPass has developed a mobile payment solution for WeChat, the social network that’s hugely popular in China with over 938 million active users. The solution allows Chinese travellers to use their apps to pay for transactions in Europe.

Global Blue said the deal will help it to further develop its offering to Chinese travelling shoppers and enable it to offer affiliated merchants access to WeChat’s payment ecosystem in Europe.

Aside from payments, EuroPass also offers a WeChat mobile ticketing solution and a European marketplace, helping drive WeChat customers to European merchants.

Global Blue’s affiliated merchants will now be able to accept WeChat Pay in their stores, as well as other payment systems as, in recent months, the company has made major investments in this area with  new refund solutions with Alipay and UnionPay.

As Global Blue’s exclusive tax-free partner, in the future EuroPass will also allow tax refunds from transactions to be paid directly to travellers’ AliPay and WeChat Pay wallets.
CEO Jacques Stern said: “Chinese Globe Shoppers are vital to the retail industry worldwide. WeChat is the number one social network in China and [an] increasingly important player in the global payments space, so it is a natural platform for [us] to focus on.”

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